Belstone seems a secure place to park for a lengthy stay. Five minutes through the pretty village and you have reached a gate to the open moor. Almost immediately, you are climbing to the ridge of Belstone Common, with it's stunning vistas of both the Taw and East Okement Valleys either side. Well, on a clear day, that would certainly be the case; today, visibility was low and rain hampered my progress.
I stopped at Oke Tor for a brew. the ground would have been suitable for a tent had it not been for the sheep and cow shit everywhere. Obviously this was a favourite shelter for the livestock.
Crossing Steeperton Brook, ascended south on an obvious track that headed for Hangingstone Hill. Before then, I turned right descending to a ford where I recrossed the brook to climb up Okement Hill.
The last time I was on Okement Hill, I was curious about the sealed track, and wondered if it was tarmac all the way. It would be an ideal place to get to if you were short on time but wanted to get out into the most remote areas of the moor. I decided to follow it back through the valley to East Okement Farm. Despite some serious pot holes, the military road appeared navigable for a standard car, up until it forded the river. Then it would have needed something a little larger. Still, I've seen minibuses up on Okement Hill so it is possible to get there, but I'll not risk it with the Ford Fiesta!
From the farm, I crossed the river and took the track passed the ford at Cullever Steps, an uncomplicated route all the way into Belstone and a change of clothes.
- Date: 28/05/11
- Region: Dartmoor National Park
- Status: Solo
- Description: Belstone – Oke Tor – Knack Mine – Okement Hill – East Okement Valley – Cullever Steps – Nine Stones Circle - Belstone – Rain, Wind, 17.5km, 5hrs
- Type of Walk: Personal Walking